The appearance of the cheeses, but also the category to which they belong, will be able to guide your choice. To help you, it would be interesting to know how to recognize the characteristics of cheeses and their families. Know the difference between raw milk, pasteurized milk or thermized milk. Then, learn to recognize soft, bloomy rind, blue or pressed Welsh Cheese.
Try Local or Regional Cheeses
In many supermarkets and hypermarkets, and more and more often, you will have the opportunity to buy cheeses from regional producers. PDO specialties from the region, for example Ossau-Iraty in the Basque Country, or cheeses from a small local producer, these products are generally handpicked and often a guarantee of quality. The carbon footprint is a plus since the farms are only a few kilometers from the point of sale.
Buy Your Cheese by the Cut for More Advice
We often think that cheeses sold by the cut are more expensive than those sold in self-service and we sometimes avoid this option, however very practical. The question of price is in any case difficult to decide because it depends on the brand’s pricing policy, any promotions from stores, the types of cheese offered for sale (PDO or not, etc.). The cheeses cut and packaged on site, as well as the cheeses by the cut, are however often more expensive because the calculation of their price includes the cost of labor in store.
But buying its cheese by the cut will allow you to ask all the questions you want about the origin or the manufacture of the cheese, as well as its possible conservation, if it is made from raw milk, etc. and therefore to remove any of your doubts before purchase.
Buy Cheese According To The Seasons And The Ripening.
Like fruits and vegetables, cheeses are seasonal products depending on the lactation period of the animals and the length of ripening. Before you want to buy cheese, therefore make sure that it is the right season and that the ripening time is optimal to better appreciate the flavors. Spring and summer are seasons which bring new aromas thanks to the richer and more diversified diet of the animals. Spring is thus known to be the season for goat cheese; summer is that of soft cheeses with washed rinds and flowers, just like uncooked pressed cheeses. Autumn is the season for blue-veined or washed-rind cheeses for those who prefer them more full-bodied. Finally, winter is a much less generous season. Only the Vacherin Mont d’Or stands out because it was made during this period.
How to Make a Cheese Platter?
If you have the mission to compose a cheese board, here are some prerequisites before buying cheese. Ideally, your platter should contain at least three cheeses: a soft cheese, a cooked pressed cheese and marbled dough. But the ultimate would be to add a goat cheese. A platter worthy of the name will consist of five to seven cheeses. You will have to choose one or two soft cheeses, a goat cheese, a sheep’s cheese, one or two pressed cheeses and marbled dough. You can also make a themed tray according to a region or a country, a family of cheese or any other theme that will inspire you. Be careful, however, to arrange the cheeses in a logical order. Clockwise, for example, place cheeses from less intense to more intense.